If you run a device that is powered by Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, you may have noticed already, or not, that the system's update functionality may be broken completely.
A check for updates returns the error message "Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer". The error 80248015 is displayed, but anything you try to resolve the issue on your end fails.
A restart does not resolve the issue, and the error may be thrown even if you downloaded updates just fine the other day.
A thread on Microsoft's Answers forum indicates that the issue is widespread. It is unclear if all Windows 7 systems are affected by the issue, or if only a subset of systems are affected.
Woody on Computerworld suggests that Microsoft broke updating on Windows 7. He suggests, based on a user report on his Ask Woody website, that Microsoft may have missed updating the Expiry Date of a file, and that this may be the cause for the update issues.
The file is authorization.xml, which you find in c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\AuthCabs\authcab.cab.
Apparently, changing the system's date to one that is older than 03.12.2017 fixes the issue temporarily, but the only other option that Windows 7 users appear to have at this point is to wait for Microsoft to publish an update that corrects the issue.
Update: Günter Born discovered that disabling "Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows" in the update settings fixed the issue on his end. You may want to try this to see if it resolves the issue for you as well.
This is not the first time that Windows users get hit with the Microsoft Update error 80248015. It happened three years ago in November 2014 to Windows XP and Server 2003 customers who could not use Windows Updates anymore either.
Back then, only some machines were affected by the issue while others had a different expiry date so that updating worked fine on those.
A search on the Internet returns multiple references to the Windows Update error 80248015, some of which dating back nearly a decade. While the error may be caused by system administrators disabling Windows Update functionality, this is apparently not the case for the current issue.
It is not really flattering for a company like Microsoft if errors like 80248015 happen frequently. Windows 7 is still supported, and it seems amateurish if the issue is indeed caused by Microsoft forgetting to update a file on the system.
To be fair, we don't know if the file is causing the issue, but it is clear that its expiry date coincides with the beginning of the issue.